Giving Tuesday Is Almost Here—Plan Your Fundraiser Today!

Sanctuary’s clients have felt the effects of this pandemic more than most, and we hope you’ll think of them on this special day.

Giving Tuesday is just around the corner! 

During this time of great stress and isolation, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to come together with people from around the world in the spirit of generosity. Sanctuary’s clients have felt the effects of this pandemic more than most, and we hope you’ll think of them on December 1st—the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

If you’d like to increase your impact, you can create a Facebook fundraiser to get your friends and family involved in our mission to end gender-based violence. It’s an easy and effective way to get the word out about our work.

Create my facebook fundraiser

Facebook is matching up to $100,000 for every non-profit in the U.S. You can make an incredible difference with just a few minutes’ work. 

  1. Click here to create your own Facebook fundraiser.
  2. Click ‘Select Nonprofit’ and search for Sanctuary for Families. You’ll know it’s us by our logo!
  3. Set your goal and tell your friends why you’re supporting Sanctuary or why supporting survivors is important to you.
  4. Start sharing your fundraiser Monday evening and all through the end of the day on Tuesday!

100% of donations made through Facebook go to the nonprofit organization; which means every dollar goes to our cause.

Sanctuary for Families is dedicated to the safety, healing, and self-determination of victims of domestic violence and related forms of gender violence. Through comprehensive services for our clients and their children, and through outreach, education, and advocacy, we strive to create a world in which freedom from gender violence is a basic human right.

Our Work Does Not End With This Election

A statement by Sanctuary ED Judy Harris Kluger.

2020 has challenged us as individuals, as communities, and as a democracy.

When the coronavirus hit New York City this spring, we isolated ourselves from loved ones and tried to manage our anxiety and grief. Over the summer, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other unarmed Black and Brown people demanded that we confront the devastating impact of systemic violence in our communities and institutions. Now this election is challenging us as a country and a democracy.

Regardless of the outcome, Sanctuary for Families will continue to uphold our mission of ensuring freedom from gender violence. Today and always, we stand for equity, safety, and justice for all.

Gender violence does not begin, nor will it end with this election. Gender violence is the product of a multitude of failures. It is a product of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. And it is the product of underfunding education, healthcare, social services, and public assistance programs. These issues did not begin four years ago.

We have much work ahead of us. For over 35 years, Sanctuary has provided the tools and resources survivors need to build safe and healthy lives free from violence. We will continue to serve and advocate until we live in a world in which freedom from gender violence is a basic human right.

When the results are in and all the votes are counted, I hope you too will continue to stand up for our country, our democracy, and survivors of gender violence.

  DONATE TODAY 

Warmly,

Hon. Judy Harris Kluger
Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families

COVID-19 & Gender Violence: Sanctuary’s Response

Since COVID-19 hit New York City—the pandemic’s initial epicenter in the U.S.—the survivors Sanctuary serves have reported urgent concerns triggered or exacerbated by the public health and economic crisis, and the resulting quarantine.

Since COVID-19 hit New York City—the pandemic’s initial epicenter in the U.S.—the survivors Sanctuary serves have reported urgent concerns triggered or exacerbated by the public health and economic crisis, and the resulting quarantine. As New York State’s largest provider of trauma-informed, holistic services for these families, Sanctuary’s services are perhaps more important now than ever before.

Learn more about the range of challenges experienced by abuse survivors during this difficult time, and Sanctuary’s rapid, multi-pronged service, outreach, and advocacy response, below.

Urgent Needs

In addition to the trauma of abuse, survivors have experienced an array of challenges, including:

  • Job loss, food, and housing insecurity
  • Court closures preventing or delaying life-saving legal remedies like orders of protection
  • Dangerous visitation situations
  • Stressors and technology challenges around remote schooling, and other childcare issues
  • Increased economic abuse such as stolen stimulus checks
  • Heightened racism and xenophobia
  • Abusive partners restricting reproductive and other healthcare access
  • Immigrant clients’ fears of reporting virus symptoms or seeking emergency police or medical assistance.

Amidst a global spike in domestic violence, Sanctuary has seen a sharp increase in calls to our legal and clinical hotlines, double and triple the rates of previous years. We expect an even greater surge of need as restrictions are lifted and survivors have greater opportunities to seek out help. Throughout the crisis, the message survivors frequently heard and, in too many cases, internalized—from police, the court system, the media, or their abusers—is that their abuse did not constitute a serious “life or death” emergency compared to the medical crisis of the pandemic, leading them to believe that help was not available or accessible.

Sanctuary’s staff and survivor leaders have worked tirelessly to counteract these messages, to help ensure survivors’ safety and access to our essential services.

Our Response

Sanctuary for Families pivoted rapidly to continue providing nearly all our holistic, life-saving services after stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March, converting all but our shelter services to remote within a matter of days. Over the past 6-½ months, more than 5,100 adults and children have received services, including the following:

  • Crisis intervention, safety planning, and case management via phone and video calls: Over 3,900 sessions to over 600 clients.
  • Licensed mental health counseling via secure, interactive telehealth services: 35 clinicians have provided over 4,700 counseling sessions to over 500 adults, children and families.
  • Conversion of our intensive, full-day career training to remote learning, purchasing and delivering laptops, software, and Wi-Fi hotspots to 40 trainees last spring (and 60 more this fall), and relaunching trainings within just a few weeks of quarantine order.
  • Continued operation of our five shelters at capacity, with residential aides onsite 24/7 to ensure residents’ safety, and enhanced cleaning/safety protocols to protect their health.
  • Expanding our clinical and legal helplines, staffing the legal line full-time with attorneys so that callers always get a live response (when they may have few free moments to call) and increasing helpline hours—responding to nearly 900 calls.
  • Significantly expanding our direct cash assistance program, distributing more than $250,000 to over 425 families to date for emergency food, supplies, rent, medicine, clothing, and more.

Innovative Outreach

Sanctuary also rapidly developed new initiatives designed to connect with and provide resources to often-isolated abuse survivors and children, who may be cut off from regular avenues of access to assistance:

  • Our clinical and legal helplines launched a website chat feature to enhance accessibility during COVID-19 and beyond—particularly crucial for survivors quarantining in dangerous situations and unable to safely call for help.
  • Sanctuary clinicians and survivor leaders published two guides: a quarantine safety planning guide for domestic violence survivors and a guide for survivors of human trafficking to cope during COVID-19, which have been translated into multiple languages and reached more than 160,000 individuals online.
  • The Virtual Courtroom Advocates Project trained over 80 pro bono attorneys to help survivors seeking orders of protection from remote courts—receiving over 250 referrals and obtaining nearly 180 protection orders to date—and has begun training law students to assist survivors this Fall.
  • Targeted outreach to raise awareness of our new and ongoing services, as well as the rights of survivors during COVID-19, including ads on social media, ethnic news sites, taxis, and public areas at hospitals and other sites, including a powerful We’re Still Here video featuring staff and survivor leaders.
  • We hosted a week-long, trauma-informed virtual summer camp for 25 teens affected by domestic violence, which saw high attendance and active participation.
  • Volunteer and in-kind programming have continued with a virtual tutoring program, remote interview prep and career days for career training participants, and our annual backpack and school supplies drive for almost 600 children returning to school this Fall.
  • Through an initiative overseen by the NYC Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and privately funded by Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Jay-Z, the Robin Hood Foundation, and more, Sanctuary was selected to administer nearly $500,000 in unconditional micro-grants to abuse survivors from domestic violence service providers citywide.

Thank You

The generous support of numerous companies, foundations and private donors have helped us meet the urgent needs of abuse survivors and their children during this unprecedented crisis. Even with the successful delivery of our services over the last seven months, with the pandemic still a major threat and so many New Yorkers facing deep economic uncertainty, the demand will only continue to grow. As our helplines continue to receive nearly 3x the number of calls and our staff field ongoing requests for emergency assistance, we must be prepared to address the anticipated flood of new clients and cases we expect when the city begins to reopen and survivors begin to have greater freedom to seek confidential help as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

We hope that you will continue to partner with us to help abuse survivors during the pandemic and beyond.

Take Action During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on domestic violence, and led to a surge in reported cases across the country and around the world. With the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and shutdowns looming this winter, we must act now.

The Coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on domestic violence, and led to a surge in reported cases across the country and around the world. With the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and shutdowns looming this winter, we must act now.
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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a time when we join fellow advocates to educate our communities about the dynamics of abusive relationships so that every New Yorker is equipped to identify abuse and access support or refer services to those in need — and the need right now is great:
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Learn how you can support survivors during Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

Attend a Virtual Event

Join Sanctuary, fellow service providers, advocates, and supporters during the month of October.
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Learn About Domestic Violence and How We’re Adapting under COVID-19

Browse our website and read our latest blog posts to better understand the various forms domestic violence takes and how Sanctuary is meeting this moment and addressing the urgent needs of survivors during this pandemic.
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Request a Training

Our staff and survivor leaders are available to lead virtual trainings for community members and groups including schools, hospitals, law enforcement, courts and judges, faith communities, and cultural groups who are interested in learning how to identify and support survivors.
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Wear Purple and Speak Out on Social Media

On NYC Go Purple Day (2020 date TBD), New Yorkers are encouraged to wear purple as a way to spark conversation and awareness about domestic violence. We won’t be able to gather in person so instead, we’re asking you to participate by taking a selfie wearing purple. Send your photo to info@sffny.org and answer the prompt: Today, I wear purple [for/because/to] _______. We’ll share your photos on Go Purple Day. You can also post on your own social media and tag us on Instagram and Twitter @sffny or on Facebook and LinkedIn @sanctuaryforfamilies.
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Donate to Sanctuary

Our services have been a lifeline to survivors quarantining with abusive partners and families struggling with the economic challenges of the pandemic. During New York’s lockdown, our shelters remained open. Make a donation today in honor of the essential workers who ensure our shelters remain open and safe havens for those leaving abusive situations.

MAKE A GIFT

By taking action today, you’ll help us shine a light on domestic violence. We hope you will join us.